Sunscreen—if you have small children, it might be the bane of your existence. And yet, we all know how important it is to keep our kids’ skin—and our own—protected. Which is why Holly Thaggard founded Supergoop!, a sunscreen company providing paraben and oxybenzone-free sunscreen applied in kid-friendly mists and mousses.
Congratulations on the success of Supergoop! What inspired you to start the brand?
I began my post-college career as a school teacher. Several years later, when a young friend of mine was diagnosed with skin cancer, I recalled those shocking moments in the classroom where I watched kids play outside without a trace of sunscreen. A close friend of mine was finishing her residency in dermatology and explained to me that sun exposure at a young age is often the cause of issues later in life.
Through research, I learned the #1 reason why people do not wear sunscreen is that it does not feel good on their skin. And I also realized that early sun damage prevention was key. This inspired me to fill the market void with a sunscreen brand that was highly efficacious, ingredient-conscious, healthy and “feel-good”—a sunscreen that everyone would want to wear every day.
While today you may see our products on the shelves of Sephora, Nordstrom or Bluemercury, I actually started using the first Supergoop! formula in classrooms. Our journey is now coming full circle. This spring we launched our “Ounce by Ounce” outreach program in partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center to supply sunscreen to schools across America.
What are some sun safety tips that you want to pass along to families?
Let your kiddos apply their own sunscreen when they’re young so they learn to take care of their own skin for themselves. Too often I see parents chasing after their children or applying the sunscreen for their kids—which is a huge miss. Letting your child apply their own product is a less frightening experience for them. I often say that if they are old enough to brush their own teeth, they should be applying their own SPF.
And definitely don’t wait until the last minute to apply sunscreen—or save it as a last step before leaving the house. When you’re in a rush, it makes applying feel like a chore when it should be part of your family’s standard routine. Make it fun, too. When my daughter, Emery, was in preschool, she applied Supergoop! every morning with a pink Beautyblender. She’s 12 today and loves that Beautyblender now comes in so many fun colors. In fact, Beautyblender recently heard about this and made one just for her and her friends in bright sunshine yellow!
What makes Supergoop! different from all of the other sunscreen brands?
We are all about clean ingredients, high efficacy and fun, unique ways to deliver both organic chemical and physical mineral sunscreens to the skin. For example, our new SPF 50 Super Power Sunscreen Mousse has quickly taken the reputation of “Funscreen.” It’s lightweight, airy, packed with hydration and sun protection—and super fun to apply.
We know that sometimes putting sunscreen on little ones can be challenging. Any tips?
Make it fun! Paint flowers and shapes on them with the sunscreen, and take your time.
What is your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?
A short, warm bath filled with Epsom salts and a Nest Tangerine candle. Afterwards, my nightly routine includes Caudalie Detox Oil for my face and the La Mer Eyebalm Intense. I can’t really go to sleep without these favorite things!
What is your best parenting hack?
I have a deal with my kiddos. On a random day, I’ll ask them if they have Supergoop! on, and if they can both say “yes,” we drop everything and head to our local toy store. We’ve done this for years and it teaches them to watch out for each other—because if they can’t both say “yes,” they both miss out.
If you could describe motherhood in one word, what would it be?
What’s one moment in your motherhood journey that has made you proud?
When our daughter Emery was in fourth grade, she nominated me for her school’s “People Who Make a Difference” award. Often, as an entrepreneur, I feel like the time I
I’m able to spend with my kids is limited, but her paper made me realize that I have taken time to help both of my kids understand the importance of what we are doing at Supergoop!. She often comes up with her own ideas about how to make the world a better place—which makes me really proud.
What is one piece of advice BIG you want to pass along to your children?
You mean besides Sunscreen—Every. Single. Day.?
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
Skin cancer, unlike any other cancer, is primarily preventable. Yet it’s also the most common type of cancer in the U.S. If your family values healthy habits like wearing seat belts, washing hands and brushing your teeth, please equally prioritize teaching your kids to protect their skin, every single day. Especially during the school day.
How do you tackle the work/life balance?
It’s funny you ask that because I was recently feeling overwhelmed, and I asked my sixth grader if she thought I did a good job of balancing work and family. She said, “Mom, you’re doing a great job. You have two healthy kids, we have beautiful skin, we have all A’s and B’s and when you’re not traveling you try to be home in the afternoons. How could things be more balanced?” Ha!
Supergoop! has offices in both San Antonio, where we live, and in New York, so travel is part of my weekly routine. I have made a commitment to my husband to consciously take time for myself while I’m traveling. That way I’m not coming home exhausted and I can be very present for our family.
What was the last book you read?
Reese Witherspoon has been giving Supergoop! a lot of love lately so I was looking at her Instagram account and saw that she recommended The Couple Next Door. I couldn’t put it down, which caused a dilemma because there is a sequel, which I totally don’t have time for. Maybe I’ll make this into an annual fiction book reading event. Next up for now though, is a book that was gifted to me by our new VP of Digital Marketing, called Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s all about creativity and the nature of inspiration. I can’t wait to dive in.
Favorite Beauty Product: Supergoop! SPF 40 Body Butter and our new SPF 50 Super Power Sunscreen Mousse. As I’ve gotten older, my skin needs extra hydration to look youthful and healthy. Together, these products do the trick. Sometimes I layer our Sun Defying Sunscreen Oil on top for a glisten and glowy look.
Favorite Form of Exercise:
What is on your DVR?
60 Minutes and Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Favorite Kids Store:
Rockets of Awesome! I recently met Rachel Blumenthal and I just love the style and concept behind her brand. It’s pretty special.